How Universal Mined Sequels and Flexibility on Streaming to Survive at 2021 Box Office

2021 Box Office Report Card: Universal scored hits with theatrical exclusives like ”F9“ while experimenting with streaming with ”Halloween Kills“ and ”Boss Baby 2“

After breaking the traditional 90-day theatrical window in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, Universal powered a series of high-profile sequels to box office success in 2021 that benefited from its new agreement with AMC Theatres and Cinemark.

Some of those sequels, like last August’s “F9,” were theatrical exclusives, while October’s “Halloween Kills” opened day-and-date in cinemas and on NBCUniversal’s upstart streaming service, Peacock. But both films ended up leading the studio’s 2021 domestic ticket sales which finished at $657 million, with $624 million coming from 10 new releases, according to data from box office site The Numbers. (This story will be updated with totals from Comscore when end-of-year data is published.)

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster